With their Red Chair IPA, Deschutes promises extreme hop presence without the bracing bitterness that sometimes precludes my enjoyment of otherwise hoptastic Imperial and Double IPAs.

The hops are there I suppose. They come across as primarily fruity and floral on the nose, a bit of apricot and apple. Where they are lacking, however, is in that sharper citrus/pine scent I want in a heavily late-hopped IPA, and their laid back fruitiness leaves them vulnerable to being overpowered by the malt, which is fairly sweet and toasty. The fact that the beige head was meager and disappeared too soon kept it from really opening up I think.

The problem here is really just that in attempting to eliminate the bitterness, they’ve gone too far and there just seems to be something basic missing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an extremely drinkable IPA, decent body and all, and I could happily session a few bombers on a hot summer day, but the heart and soul of those West Coast hop monsters we all know and love seems to have been neutered when a simple trim would’ve done nicely.

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